19 Beautiful Galley Kitchen Ideas

Looking for galley kitchen ideas? Well you’ve come to the right place!

We think the kitchen is the heart of any home.

It’s where you eat, entertain and spend some of your most precious hours of the day.

Some of us have plentiful kitchen space to work with, but, as is the case in so many British homes (like in 1930s houses such as ours), we often find galley kitchens tucked away in a teeny rear or side extension. Many homeowners choose to knock through or extend, but with a little inspiration and further guidance on home design if you need it (see our Home Design Lab) there’s no reason why you can’t create an incredible kitchen without knocking or adding walls. While we’re on the topic of home renovation, you might want to learn from Fi & Neil’s journey.

What is a galley kitchen?

You’ll spot whether you own a galley kitchen if the layout has a narrow walkway in the middle, with units/worktops running parallel. Galley kitchens can tend to mean limited space in such a narrow shape which isn’t ideal.

Lots of house renovators we talk to in our community tell us they can’t find the budget to do a galley kitchen knock through or a big kitchen extension and often refrain from splashing on structural work, making smaller spaces work for them. We think is awesome. You really don’t need huge budgets to create a space that works for you.

Why do galley kitchens get a bad rap?

Galley kitchens sometimes get a bad rap in the shadow of more expansive designs, but when budgets are tight there are so many ideas you can implement to make them work. From clever ideas to maximise light, to carefully curated finishing touches, these superb spaces can be the powerhouse of a cosy home.

So, in the spirit of celebrating the potential of galley kitchens, we’ve put together our top 11 favourites at the moment. Each one is packed with inspiration and design ideas so read on to go green with kitchen envy. 

IMAGE: @agi_at_59

Gallery wall idea in a galley kitchen - IMAGE: @agi_at_59

1. Draw the eye with bold colours and a gallery wall

We’re huge fans of Agi’s Hampshire-based home. She exhibits bold bursts of dark tones contrasted with uplifting pastels throughout her space, especially so in her kitchen. She’s chosen to focus on cool furnishings, splashes of lively plants and gallery-style feature prints to maintain a modern vibe. The kitchen itself is a classic choice of a Belfast sink and simple fresh, white cabinetry to keep the space light and welcoming. Styling walls doesn’t come naturally to everyone but it’s amazing how styling really transforms a room. It’s why we share a full module all about that very topic in Home Design Lab – showing members exactly how to style their homes with versatility and their personality in mind.

IMAGE: @peony.cottage

Colour coordinating cabinet idea in a galley kitchen - IMAGE: @peony.cottage

2. Match wall cabinets to your wall paint shade

When you think about, using bold colours on your cabinetry can look fantastic but is quite a lot when applied to both side and level of your galley kitchen as the shade can become overwhelming. This home has the right idea in coordinating their white wall cabinets with a white backsplash and wall paint so the upper section of their galley kitchen has an airy and almost floating feel to it. 

IMAGE: @layered.home

Idea for eclectic styling in a galley kitchen - IMAGE: @layered.home

3. Create an eclectic jungle

If there’s one sure fire way to breath life into your galley kitchen, then it has to be filling it prints and plants. When choosing from roughly coordinating shapes or shades, you really can’t go wrong or do too much and this is an excellent way of filling your galley kitchen with energy and really making a feature out of something ordinary. We also love a bold wallpaper in a kitchen setting so why not experiment with your own. Even a plentiful kitchen herb selection could do the trick!

open wall storage idea for a galley kitchen - IMAGE: @little_salvage_life

4. Try styled open wall storage in your galley kitchen

We love seeing open wall shelving in a kitchen and it works absolute wonders in a galley kitchen. Removing the solid wall cabinets keeps the room feeling open but when you go a step further by fitting shelves to coordinate with your decor, you add a great styling opportunity and so much character to give the kitchen personality. All in all, this on-trend idea wins points for both practicality and for aesthetics.

IMAGE: @bobbins.at.no.18

Idea for a Scandi galley kitchen - IMAGE: @bobbins.at.no.18

5. Go simple and scandi

Classic simplicity with a Scandi feel sums up the Bobbins’ home nicely. In this kitchen, dark cabinetry anchors the otherwise pale kitchen colour choices. Light is welcomed in through two external windows and a sky light, finished in light-enhancing soft grey and white shades. The key touch here is how they’ve turned the end of a long space into a cosy eating area, somewhere to entertain and also a fantastic source of light for a small area.

Are you clear on which interior style you love most or do you have magpie tendencies as soon as you hit up Pinterest? The secret to a cohesive home that speaks to YOU is defining your style which is the very first task our Home Design Lab students work out.

IMAGE: @our_home_on_sandridge

Galley kitchen idea with integrated appliances - IMAGE: @our_home_on_sandridge

6. Opt for integrated appliances

Flow is everything when it comes to the perfect galley kitchen and odd appliances or whitewoods sticking out can disrupt the harmony of two parallel cabinets so try integrating them if possible. The better the flow in your cabinetry, the more cohesive a space looks so your galley kitchen will use space really well and look as impressive as can be.

IMAGE: @burlanesinteriors

Galley kitchen with heritage flooring idea - IMAGE: @burlanesinteriors

7. Mix bold colour and heritage flooring

Don’t be afraid to go for a bold contrast when it comes to choosing your kitchen colours. This interiors company have created a striking space with functional elegance. They’ve made the colour scheme work in a smaller galley space by tying it together with heritage flooring for character and depth. Note the exposed appliances which makes a refreshing change with the silver accessories. (For more ideas for working with a compact area take a look at our small kitchen ideas post)

IMAGE: @bygracegordon

Galley kitchen with full length cabinet idea - IMAGE: @gracegordon.co

8. Ditch the wall cabinets for an airy feel

Grace has a fantastic eye for making the most of the character-filled details in her Lewes house. She’s worked the rustic feature flooring into industrial shelving and brought elegance to the space with white walls and dove grey cabinetry. We love how she’s forgone wall cabinets to make the most of a smaller space with considered decoration. You’ve got to be organised and almost perfectionist in your tendencies to make open shelving work for you. If you know you’re not the type to faff and style shelving beautifully like Grace, and if the sight of clutter gets to you, closed cabinets may be a better solution for your personality. There are many, many ways to make a house a home but to make a home really speak to you, you’ve got to dig deep and discover your personality. See Home Design Lab if you need support with this.

IMAGE: @_elizabeth_dalton

Runner rug idea for a galley kitchen - IMAGE: @_elizabeth_dalton

9. A rug can add so much personality

If you’ve got a rather narrow walkway in your galley kitchen then throwing a rug down (particularly one which coordinates with your cabinetry like this one) can add some cosiness and make the room feel more tied together with less space. We also love how this kitchen uses downlight under the wall cabinets to maximise light and use every inch of surface space to its full potential.

IMAGE: @michelleshakallis

Natural light idea in a gallet kitchen - IMAGE: @michelleshakallis

10. Make natural lighting your centrepiece

Whether you’ve got the layout to workout or you’re up for installing a window (definitely something to consider in kitchens lacking light), maximising the natural light flowing into your galley kitchen by making a big ol’ window the centrepiece of the room. This kitchen has used white cabinets at the top to carry light around the room and we adore how the light absolutely streams in and amplifies the shape of the long galley shape too. Simply stunning!

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IMAGE: @emilyrachelshouse

Galley kitchen with bold cabinet. colour idea - IMAGE: @emilyrachelshouse

11. Be bold with different coloured cabinets

Matching colours isn’t everything in a galley kitchen. In fact, using coordinating but different shades in your cabinetry can breathe energy into your kitchen and add some fun, even to the smallest of spaces. We love how this home uses a lighter shade near the window to emphasise brightness but goes dark on the opposite side to make that gorgeous metallic hardware stand out. On that note, a lighting centrepiece makes for the perfect finishing touch!

open plan galley kitchen idea

idea for an open plan galley kitchen - IMAGE: @houseonthecorner_16

12. Create a galley kitchen in an open plan layout

Galley kitchens are often used in homes with a narrow space in which to fit the kitchen, but they also work marvellously in larger, open plan designs. With this idea, you can focus the bulk of your cabinets and appliances on one of the walls and then make the layout more dynamic by incorporating an island or row of cabinets opposite (or both as in this kitchen). Coordinating your colour scheme across cabinets and worktops is key for cohesion in this kind of idea.

IMAGE: @love_urhome

Idea for two-tone walls in a galley kitchen - IMAGE: @love_urhome

13. Go two-tone on the walls

Why not step up your colour game and go for a darker hue towards the ceiling to invert typical colour combos. This kitchen is full of fun and we love to see how the owner has used the dark green colour to blend in with a living-wall style feature to conceal the beam. Together, it gives a subtle jungle feel and pairs beautifully with the metallic door pulls. Choosing a shiny floor tile is also a great way to reflect light around the room making it seem more spacious. 

lighting idea for a galley kitchen

Lighting idea for a galley kitchen - IMA/GE: @inigo.house

14. Illuminate your galley kitchen with skylights

As much as love galley kitchens, they can tend to be a little challenged for natural light, which is crucial for food preparation and to make the room a nice place to be. If you’ve got this classic galley kitchen in a terraced extension kind of layout, you can add so much natural light by installing skylights in the ceiling. This will really pay off in the long run, both in practical terms as well as saving money on your bills by using the lights less where possible.

built in storage galley kitchen

galley kitchen storage solution ideas - IMAGE: @katieslittlevictorian

15. Be smart with built-in storage solutions

As limited storage can be one of the biggest challenges in making the most of your galley kitchen, you have the perfect opportunity to work these in when you’re fitting a kitchen from scratch. We love the super narrow yet nifty wine storage and dining tray slots in this stunning kitchen. It would otherwise be wasted space but they’re the kinds of things that can really get in the way if they don’t have a designated storage space. This idea also looks seriously impressive.

IMAGE: @kismet_house

Galley kitchen with long running lines idea - IMAGE: @kismet_house

16. Emphasise lines with a runner rug and long handles

Erin knows a thing or two about trends and it really shows in her galley kitchen makeover. Leading into a cosy lounge, she’s opted for gold cabinet and lighting hardware paired with bold blue tones. The finishing touch comes with the rug which makes her space feel all the more homely. Erin has also gone with ceiling-high splashback tiles which reflect light back into her kitchen, diminishing any feelings of limited space.

image: @mrsmerrellyeah

Idea for wall storage in a galley kitchen - image: @mrsmerrellyeah

17. Repurpose crates and add a stone floor to bring charm

Lucy’s eye for interiors carries through into somewhat larger-than-galley kitchen. She’s working with an interesting space, keeping parallel cabinets and maximise storage space on the solid wall. The farmhouse feel is reflected in bare wood countertops, a classic choice of cabinet design and a homely runner to add warmth to the space. We love the repurposed wooden crates which we really add character to her room.

IMAGE: @victorianterrace120

Bi-fold door ideas from a galley kitchen - IMAGE: @victorianterrace120

18. Pull the outside in with bi-folding doors

The lucky ones among us, like with this gorgeous terraced Victorian house, have the opportunity to play with a little more room and wall space. These homeowners have used bifold doors to maximum effect, pulling in light transforming the galley kitchen into something social and relaxed. Again, the choice of timeless paint shades and minimal wall clutter make the space feel practical.

colourful galley kitchen idea

Ideas for a colourful galley kitchen - IMAGE: @pluckldn

19. The more colourful, the better!

As galley kitchens tend to be fairly small and compact, you need to get creative in the ways you can make the space feel open. Bright, vibrant colours are a fantastic way to do this. In this gorgeous example, warm hues work really well with the bright, white walls to make the whole room feel airy and spacious. Plus, it’s such a joyous place to be with colours like this.

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